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Mazomanie in Dane County, Wisconsin — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

The Turntable, The Engine House, The Water Tower

 
 
The Turntable, The Engine House, The Water Tower Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., October 8, 2015
1. The Turntable, The Engine House, The Water Tower Marker
Inscription.

The Turntable

The railroad yards included a turntable on which locomotives and their tenders could be either turned around or directed into an adjacent engine house. The turntable was built of wooden beams and planks resting on a lubricated shaft. Vertical trusses supported the edges. Once on the turntable, an engine and tender were turned by hand. Wooden bars, attached to the outer edge, improved the leverage so that only a few men were required to rotate the structure.

The first turntable, built in 1856, was located about halfway between Brodhead and Cramer Streets. It was replaced in 1875 and again in 1909, the second time with one previously used in Saginaw, Michigan. In 1933 another turntable of stronger construction was built to accommodate the newer, larger locomotives. When a wye was built on the Sauk Branch line in 1942, the turntable became obsolete and was removed.

The Engine House

An engine house, where minor repairs could be made on locomotives, was built in the Mazomanie railroad yards in 1856. Its location just easat of the turntable allowed placing a locomotive and its tender in either direction inside the house. In 1882 a larger structure was built on the same site for housing or servicing two locomotives at one time.

Between 1856 and 1874 Mazomanie

The Turntable, The Engine House, The Water Tower Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., October 8, 2015
2. The Turntable, The Engine House, The Water Tower Marker
was the home of a construction and repair train. On call at all times, a crew could be rushed to the aid of a derailed train or to repair a washed-out bridge. Runs were frequently made as far east as Madison and as far west as Prairie du Chien. The engine house was used until 1939 when it was removed for use as a cattle shed.

The Water Tower

Wood and coal burning locomotives needed to make frequent fuel and watering stops. Mazomanie had an abundant supply of water affored by the millpond. In 1856 the railroad built a water tower to service its steam locomotives. This facility at Mazomanie was the railroad's only source of water between Lone Rock, twenty-two miles to the west, and Madison, twenty-five miles to the east.

A flume from the lower millpond brought the water to an undershot waterwheel which raised the water into the water tower tank. When the water level in the millpond fell, making the wheel inoperative, a steam-powered water ram, located in an adjacent pump house, was used to fill the tank. When both systems failed, the local fire department was recruited to fill the locomotive tenders with water from their hand pumpers.

The first water tower was replaced in 1907 with a tank twenty-four feet in diameter. The tower was permanently removed in 1950 when the dam on Black Earth Creek was washed out as the result of a storm. Water

The Turntable, The Engine House, The Water Tower Marker Photos image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., October 8, 2015
3. The Turntable, The Engine House, The Water Tower Marker Photos
from the village main was then used to fill the tenders until diesel engines replaced the steam locomotives in 1954.
————————
[Photo captions, from top, read]
Engine on turntable - about 1890

The construction train engine - 1878

The water tower - 1909


 
Location. 43° 10.528′ N, 89° 47.533′ W. Marker is in Mazomanie, Wisconsin, in Dane County. Touch for map. Marker kiosk is in the city park reclaimed from the former railroad yard, north of the existing railroad grade, south of Crescent Street, and immediately west of the city offices at 133 Crescent Street. Marker is in this post office area: Mazomanie WI 53560, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Crescent Street Factories, Mazomanie Blacksmiths, Coal Buildings (here, next to this marker); Lynch and Walker Flouring Mill (within shouting distance of this marker); The Railroad in Mazomanie (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Train Wreck of 1906 (about 400 feet away); The Flag on the Bluff (about 400 feet away); Mazomanie (about 500 feet away); The Mazomanie Downtown Historic District (about 600 feet away); The Mazomanie Depot (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Mazomanie.
 
Also see . . .
The Turntable, The Engine House, The Water Tower Marker Kiosk image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., October 8, 2015
4. The Turntable, The Engine House, The Water Tower Marker Kiosk
Looking west, with the 1857 depot in distant background

1. History for Village of Mazomanie WI. (Submitted on October 29, 2015, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific Railway Company Brief History. (Submitted on October 29, 2015, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
 
Categories. Man-Made FeaturesRailroads & Streetcars
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on October 29, 2015, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 154 times since then and 35 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on October 29, 2015, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.
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